Student fee refunds for international students are administered under the UOW Fees Policy and the legislative guidelines of The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and associated legislation. This is the legal framework governing the responsibility of education institutions for overseas students. Once you have accepted an offer to UOW, your eligibility for a refund of fees paid to University of Wollongong is determined by whether you are a:
New student unable to commence study, or
Existing student who has completed at least 24 credit points of study, or
A student who is unable to study due to special circumstances.
This information page is intended to be a guide only. Assessments for fee refunds are made in accordance with the UOW Fees Policy.
Leaving the University
IMPORTANT: Students should still complete and return an Application for Refund of Fees – International form available from the Student Forms web page, even if their release from the University is still pending. The request will be held until the release is approved.
Refunds for new students
A new student is a person commencing study at the University of Wollongong under a new offer. This includes packaged offers of two or more consecutive offers made for study at University of Wollongong. A refund request in this case would refer to the first session of fees paid in advance for your UOW offer. As per the UOW Fees Policy, UOW will assess refund applications based on the valid course offer.
- Commencement date: The start date of the first session of new offer (as per valid offer letter and as published on the session and key dates website).
- Census date: Date by which enrolment and fee payments must be finalised. Each session of study has a census date and these are displayed on your SOLS record in addition to being published on the session and key dates website.
Note: One full session of study may be made up of multiple intakes which equal 24 credit points. Where multiple intakes fall within the first full session of study, applications are assessed based on the first commencement and census date.
Your eligibility for a refund of fees paid is determined based on the following criteria:
|Circumstance||Refund request due||Documentation required|
|100% of full session tuition fee - as per UOW Fees Policy Section 8.13||Offer is withdrawn as student is unable to meet terms of a conditional offer. If the offer was made on the basis of incorrect or incomplete information supplied by the student the university may retain $1000 of fees paid to the University.||As soon as possible after offer withdrawal.||
|University of Wollongong is unable to provide the course.||As soon as possible after notification of course unavailability.||
|Student’s visa application is denied. If a student's visa is denied due to the student's action or inaction, the University will retain $1000 of the fees paid to the University.||As soon as possible after notification of visa denial.||
|The student fails to meet the University’s course progression rules and as a result is not permitted to re-enrol due to suspension and/or exclusion.||As soon as possible after notification of suspension and/or exclusion.||
|Refund less $1000 of tuition fees paid for session - as per UOW Fees Policy Section 8.16||New student who does not commence study.||Before commencement date of signed offer.||
|Refund less $5000 of tuition fees paid for session - as per UOW Fees Policy Section 8.17||New student who enrols and withdraws before census date.||Before census date of signed offer.||
Refunds for existing students
|Refund amount||Circumstance||Refund details||Documentation required|
|100%||Student withdraws from subjects before census date||
As per Section 13 of the UOW Fees Policy, students shall have their unused credit held in their account for 36 months from the course commencement date, as stated on the offer letter or from when they were last enrolled;
|Can be refunded to the student in their home country.
||Application for Refund of Fees – International|
|No refund||Student withdraws from subjects after census date - no special circumstances||N/A||N/A|
Where students withdraw after census date and are able to demonstrate special circumstances in line with Section 11 of the UOW Fees Policy, they may be eligible for a refund of fees. To apply, students will need to submit an Application for Refund of Fees – International, available from the Student Forms page along with supporting documentation. If approved, credit for these types of refunds will be credited to the student’s University account and only be available for future study at the University. See below for more information on What are Special Circumstances? and What supporting documents are required?
What are special circumstances?
Special circumstances are generally considered to be unusual, beyond the student’s control and were either not known before the commencement date for new students or census date for existing students, or significantly worsened after that date.
- Were beyond your control: A situation that a reasonable person would consider is not due to your action or inaction, or which you were not responsible for. Please note that a lack of understanding or knowledge of university fees or census date deadlines is not considered to be beyond your control; AND
- Did not occur, or their full impact was not known until after the commencement date for new students or census date for existing students: The circumstances occur before the commencement or census date, but worsen after that day, or before the commencement or census date, but the full effect or magnitude does not become apparent until after that date; AND
- Because of the circumstances you were unable to complete your study requirements: You were unable to undertake the necessary private study required, attend sufficient lectures or tutorials, or meet other attendance requirements in order to meet your compulsory course requirements.
Special circumstances DO NOT include a lack of knowledge or understanding of census dates or the University’s enrolment and withdrawal processes. See the examples of special circumstances and appropriate documents.
What supporting documents are required?
Each application is assessed primarily on the independent supporting documentation you provide to the university. Please note that a personal statement describing your special circumstances is not sufficient evidence to have your application approved. Personal statements of your special circumstances should be supported by documentation.
As per the UOW Fees Policy, supporting documentation needs to:
- Be on official letterhead (if appropriate), signed and dated
- Include medical provider number (if appropriate) and contact details of the person providing the document
- Include all relevant dates and indicate the severity of your circumstances
- Advise the date your circumstances first began
- State whether your circumstances changed after census date and if so, the date they changed and to what degree
- Comment on how your special circumstances affected your ability to meet study commitments
- Advise when it became apparent that you could not continue your study.
- Your doctor
- The Department of Immigration
- Psychologist or counsellor
- An independent member of the community (such as a Justice of the Peace or Minister of Religion)
- Your faculty
Examples of special circumstances and appropriate documents
Example 1: Medical
- The date the medical condition began or changed
- How the condition affected your ability to meet study requirements
- When it became apparent that you could not continue your studies.
Example 2: Family/personal
- A close family member has a serious illness after commencement or census date, and you are required to provide full-time care
- A family member or close friend dies and you are affected to such a degree that, after the commencement or census date you realise you cannot continue study.
- The date your personal circumstances changed
- How your circumstances affected your ability to meet study requirements
- When it became apparent that you could not continue your studies.
Example 3: Course-related reasons
- Provide a letter from your Faculty which gives details of the circumstances affecting you.
- Provide documentation to support your failure to meet course progression rules.
- Provide documentation to support your failure to meet the terms of your conditional offer letter.
What if I fail a subject?
If you failed because of special circumstances which occurred after census date and were beyond your control, you may submit an Application for Refund of Fees – International available from the Student Forms page.
You will need to provide evidence of your special circumstances with supporting documentation.
What if I do not attend any classes?
UOW encourages all students to manage their enrolments effectively online via the SOLS system. Therefore, regardless of whether you attend classes, if you do not ‘formally withdraw via SOLS’ before census date, you will still be charged for the enrolled subject(s).
In these instances, you should consider making an Application for Late Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty (available from the student forms page) if it is too late to withdraw yourself from your subjects online via SOLS.
Please be careful not to withdraw from subjects and affect your completion date which in turn, will affect your Confirmation of Enrolment at UOW (CoE). More information about ‘Managing Your Course’ can be found on the international students web page.
I am not happy with the outcome of my refund application
If the student is unsatisfied with the outcome of their refund application, they can submit an appeal if:
- They believe the policy has not been adhered to; or
- Additional information has become available which could have affected the outcome of their application.
The appeal must be submitted within 28 calendar days of receiving the original decision. Appeals are to be submitted via an online appeal form which is provided during the refund outcome process (the link will be provided to you in your outcome email). Your application will be submitted to the Senior Manager, Admissions, Fees & Scholarships and must:
- Provide new and substantial evidence that has not previously been considered; and
- Include any relevant and new documentary evidence to support the appeal that was not included in your original application.
For further assistance or information contact Student Central.